Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My Life On Mars

Anybody who's been following the development of "Torchwood" closely will recognise the name of Chris Chibnall, just one of the confirmed writers of the new series. Now, I know that Kurly has already talked about the man way back in January, but now that his Life On Mars episode has aired, I figure now is an ideal time to revise that discussion.

For followers of the show, during last night's Life On Mars, Sam Tyler investigated a cover-up within his own police department, leading to the major revelation that one of his fellow officers (look away now in you don't wanna read spoilers!) killed a prisoner and was guilty of manslaughter.

It was a particularly dark episode for the show, one with less humour than usual. What particularly impressed me about Chibnall's writing was how human his characters felt. They didn't feel like 2D characters at all and really came alive on screen. He can also write action scenes aplenty (the locker room fight last night was as good as a modern day boxing match - ouch!) but what impressed me the most about his writing was the way that at the end of the 60 minutes, all the characters feel like they've changed, and not in a subtle way at all. Chibnall creates an emotional rollercoster, and the audience are left exhausted by the end of the hour, wanting more, but being too afraid to ask.

However, between these glorious scenes were often over-long, somewhat boring talkative scenes where not much happened. At least 15 minutes could have been cut from this episode, which bodes well for Torchwood, which will be 45 minutes long anyway!

Aside from this though, Chibnall appears as an ideal choice for writer on Torchwood. He can write dark gothic environments. He can certainly write humour (although going off of last night's Life on Mars he certainly needs to add a little more for Torchwood). Most importantly, with Chibnall we'll get a Jack, Gwen, et al who really will come alive on screen. Our favourite characters are in good hands I guarentee you (and yay! Matthew Graham, Life on Mars creator, is writing Doctor Who!).

What do you all think about Life On Mars? Have you seen other Chris Chibnall episodes? Please post your comments here. See you all again soon.
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